Monday, May 6th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Free tool KumoWorks turns sketches into rendered clouds

OpenToonz developer Jeremy Bullock’s overview of KumoWorks. The appealing free cloud generation app has just been released by Dwango, the publisher of OpenToonz itself.

Dwango, best known for open-sourcing 2D animation tool Toonz to create OpenToonz, has released another neat free tool: KumoWorks.

The app turns freehand sketches, no matter how crude, into rendered clouds with the same outline.

Turn sketched outlines into rendered clouds, then use sliders to adjust their form
KumoWorks is based on a cloud rendering engine developed by Tomohiro Suzuki and was developed with the input of art director and background artist Takumi Tanji.

Workflow really is as simple as the summary above suggests: you draw a rough freehand outline, and – providing it forms a closed path – it becomes a rendered cloud when you hit [Enter].

Once generated, you can switch the cloud between various real-world types – cumulus, altostratus, cumulonimbus, and so on – or use sliders to adjust its shape.

A further set of sliders control the internal form of the cloud, via Worley and Simplex noise.

There are also controls for the background sky and sun position, and for tonemapping the render.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be possible to export the cloud as a 3D object: KumoWorks is really for generating sky backgrounds for illustrations or animations.

However, the clouds render on transparent backgrounds, so they can be further adjusted in image-editing software – and even if you don’t do much 2D work, it’s a lot of fun to play with.

Availability and system requirements
The source code of KumoWorks is available under a modified BSD licence. Compiled binaries are available for Windows and macOS. The software is free for commercial use.

Read more about KumoWorks in the project’s GitHub repository

Download compiled binaries of KumoWorks for Windows and macOS